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Thanks to waste crews for ''first class'' bin collections

Council waste crews have been overwhelmed by messages of support and thanks from Eastbourne residents for keeping services running during the Covid-19 crisis.

Household, recycling, clinical and garden waste collections are operating as normal in the town while some neighbouring authorities have suspended their garden waste pick-ups.

"Well done, first class service",  "Thank you for your hard work," and "Our refuse collectors are amazing. The work they do, day in, day out, is very much appreciated," are among the dozens of online messages left for Eastbourne's Environment First team.

Councillor Jonathan Dow, Cabinet member for Climate Change, said: "People have been really vocal in showing their gratitude to our waste crews for their diligent work.

"As well as social media messages, they have left notes on bins, put up colourful posters in windows and called across their thanks to bin crews as their rubbish is picked up."

The only current change to services is there are no bulky waste collections at this time for items such as kitchen appliances and furniture.

With more people staying at home, the tonnage being collected is between 60% to 80% higher than usual at this time.

Various steps have been taken to ensure staff safety while maintaining services such as enforcing social distancing on rounds, sourcing stocks of PPE and sanitisers against a national backdrop of shortages and providing crews with them, supporting staff with specific needs such as those with children of school age or with underlying health conditions.

Councillor Dow added: "We are very proud of our waste collection teams as well as our street cleansing crews who have risen to the different challenges this crisis has thrown at them, ensuring our local environment is kept to the usual high standard of cleanliness.

"This is despite many street cleansing workers being redeployed to waste collection services in place of staff who are self-isolating. If any changes to our waste collection services need to be made during this challenging period, we will give residents as much notice as possible."